Small towns across the US are adopting some of the big trends that have been in full force in cities throughout the nation. On a recent trip to rural Iowa I was surprised to be met with trendy cafes, sleek wine bars, exquisitely refurbished loft style apartments, and more wineries than one would ever expect from a state most famous for growing corn.
While many of the local wineries have yet to perfect their wines, the same can not be said for the contemporary wine bars dotting this corn studded landscape. With excellent selections and knowledgeable sommeliers, many of these wine bars could be situated in any major city.
In one small town of about 10,000 inhabitants, the once withering downtown, now has several cafes serving surprisingly good coffees, deserts, and sandwiches with some of the most delicious home baked bread this trend hunter has ever set his teeth into. Walking back to my car after an entirely satisfying lunch, I spotted a sign for an open house in an historic building above an old bank. The converted condo had gorgeous turn of the century woodwork complemented by stylish granite counter-tops, stainless steel appliances, and boundless amounts of pure sunlight.
These apartments, cafes, wine bars, and wineries are attracting the young people who are staying behind in these small towns, exploring the opportunities that can be had by the savvy entrepreneur living in a hamlet, but wanting the style and luxury of the big city.